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  • FIRST POST
    • chezybezy
    • By chezybezy 10th Jun 17, 9:39 PM
    • 92Posts
    • 17Thanks
    chezybezy
    bathroom tap suddenly not turning all the way
    • #1
    • 10th Jun 17, 9:39 PM
    bathroom tap suddenly not turning all the way 10th Jun 17 at 9:39 PM
    seems like I'm having a rough month for "DIY"!
    My upstairs bathroom hot water tap has suddenly (over night!) stopped turning all the way, it now will only turn max a quarter of a turn, and obviously the flow is minuscule as a result. normally you can probably go around twice for 'full flow'.

    I have tried seeing is a gentle pressure will shift the thing but no dice. All my other taps in the house are unaffected and the cold tap next to it is fine.

    cold on (not full)
    hot on as far as it will go (~ quarter of a turn)
    hot side

    any one have any ideas where i can begin? I have very limited knowledge with plumbing
    - Chez
Page 1
    • Sicard
    • By Sicard 11th Jun 17, 8:50 AM
    • 650 Posts
    • 574 Thanks
    Sicard
    • #2
    • 11th Jun 17, 8:50 AM
    • #2
    • 11th Jun 17, 8:50 AM
    Can you unscrew it and see if there's limescale preventing the turn? If so scrape it off. Otherwise give it a good blast of WD40 and see if that shifts it.
    A wise man gets more use from his enemies than a fool from his friends.
    Baltasar Gracian
    • firefox1956
    • By firefox1956 11th Jun 17, 9:49 AM
    • 1,227 Posts
    • 680 Thanks
    firefox1956
    • #3
    • 11th Jun 17, 9:49 AM
    • #3
    • 11th Jun 17, 9:49 AM
    Bit of WD40 then just keep turning the tap as far as it will go loads of times. It will go a bit further every time........
    Used to happen on a tap of mine that was only partially turned on all the time.
    HTH
    • Le_Kirk
    • By Le_Kirk 11th Jun 17, 10:39 AM
    • 2,074 Posts
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    Le_Kirk
    • #4
    • 11th Jun 17, 10:39 AM
    • #4
    • 11th Jun 17, 10:39 AM
    Two things: -
    1 If you do undo it make sure you turn off the water (hot) first.
    2. Has it been dripping when turned off? If so, you might have been tempted to keep screwing tighter and tighter and you have actually screwed the stem out of the housing. In this case it is water off, tap top off and unscrew the innards to replace the washer.
    • southcoastrgi
    • By southcoastrgi 11th Jun 17, 1:46 PM
    • 5,204 Posts
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    southcoastrgi
    • #5
    • 11th Jun 17, 1:46 PM
    • #5
    • 11th Jun 17, 1:46 PM
    The inside part that holds the washer has come out of the tap housing, you need to turn the water off, take out the inside from the tap body & slightly twist the washer part & let it go back in then put it back together with a new washer
    I'm only here while I wait for Corrie to start.

    You get no BS from me & if I think you are wrong I WILL tell you.
    • chezybezy
    • By chezybezy 11th Jun 17, 3:58 PM
    • 92 Posts
    • 17 Thanks
    chezybezy
    • #6
    • 11th Jun 17, 3:58 PM
    • #6
    • 11th Jun 17, 3:58 PM
    thanks for the replies,
    I will check for limescale etc when i dismantle the tap.

    @Le_Kirk - now that you have mentioned it i think i have been tightening the tap more lately as there was indeed a very slight slow drip.

    @southcoastrgi - thanks so i turn the water off (presumably from the kitchen downstairs), take apart the tap, twist the washer part, reseat it, then replace the washer.
    Would you be kind enough to expand a little on "slightly twist the washer part & let it go back in" - is this just flatten the washer if its bent and re-seat it, or something else? i just like to be clear before i start messing.
    Can someone also advise which type / size of washer i will need to get or are they universal?

    thanks again.
    - Chez
    • Le_Kirk
    • By Le_Kirk 11th Jun 17, 5:47 PM
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    Le_Kirk
    • #7
    • 11th Jun 17, 5:47 PM
    • #7
    • 11th Jun 17, 5:47 PM
    Where you turn off the water will depend upon how your house is plumbed but normally the bathroom cold water is from a tank in the loft/attic. In my case there is a valve in the airing cupboard.
    Check out this picture of a tap, you will see what @southcoastrgi is saying. BTW the thread INSIDE the tap will be left hand thread.

    When you turn (1) in a clock-wise direction to close the tap, the stem (cunningly concealed inside the tap body) onto which the washer (5) is fitted, is forced down because it is left hand threaded. If it was a right hand thread, it would lift the stem.
    Last edited by Le_Kirk; 11-06-2017 at 5:52 PM. Reason: More info added
    • Jonesya
    • By Jonesya 11th Jun 17, 6:15 PM
    • 1,300 Posts
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    Jonesya
    • #8
    • 11th Jun 17, 6:15 PM
    • #8
    • 11th Jun 17, 6:15 PM
    Taps normally have a brass gland - this is the mechanism under the handle and cover than controls the water. You can get new glands for around a fiver a pair.

    You might be able to refurb the existing one, but normally easier just to change the whole gland.

    Google changing tap gland. Screwfix, B&Q, normal sheds sell them, just need to get the right part - full turn Vs quarter turn ceramic, and right length, right diameter.

    If the existing one has seized, probably better to replace entirely for a few quid to save doing the job again.
    • southcoastrgi
    • By southcoastrgi 13th Jun 17, 12:33 AM
    • 5,204 Posts
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    southcoastrgi
    • #9
    • 13th Jun 17, 12:33 AM
    • #9
    • 13th Jun 17, 12:33 AM
    Yes turn off the water wherever that is, when you have removed the inners from the tap body turn the spindle clockwise & the part with the washer will fall out, you will now see the end is nut shaped this needs to go back into the top part which s a female nut shape (much easier to see with it in your hand), the washer nut has come out of the female part & twisted slightly so it now won't go back inside which is why you can only turn the handle 1/4 turn, put the two parts together & turn the spindle anti-clockwise & the washer part will be drawn back in, make sure it goes into the body, put it back together & you should be sorted,

    My description sounds really complicated but it really isn't
    I'm only here while I wait for Corrie to start.

    You get no BS from me & if I think you are wrong I WILL tell you.
    • Wookey
    • By Wookey 13th Jun 17, 9:35 AM
    • 795 Posts
    • 398 Thanks
    Wookey
    Click on the tap sectional view

    https://www.wonkeedonkeetools.co.uk/tap-reseaters/what-is-a-tap-reseater-used-for/

    What has happened to your tap is a common occurrence in cheaper non packing gland taps, the washer and plate in that diagram have literally fell out of the part marked thread, this is down usually to some wear on the washer and/or the washer seating, simply disasembling it and putting it back together will not fix it for more than a few hours or days.

    Replace the washer with a new one which has at least the same depth or more, you can also get replacement tap bodies but unless they have a gland instead of a rubber O ring to seal the stem/shaft/spindle then the problem will occur again in due course.

    Taps with glands are fully serviceable and will last 50+ years, the cheaper O ring tap bodies give far more trouble and need far more attention. Under no circumstances squirt penetration oil anywhere near a water source where there is the chance of ingestion.
    Norn Iron Club member No 353
    • barnaclebill
    • By barnaclebill 13th Jun 17, 1:32 PM
    • 233 Posts
    • 125 Thanks
    barnaclebill
    There are a few good videos on youtube about tap repairs and removing tap internals
    • chezybezy
    • By chezybezy 17th Jun 17, 4:13 PM
    • 92 Posts
    • 17 Thanks
    chezybezy
    thankyou very much for all your replies.
    I thought i would wait until my day off to fix, however i'm a little unsure which of the valves i should turn off upstairs. This is not something i figured i would need to ask for help with

    i know i also have tank in the loft, unsure if this is used as they had to do something special when they fit the shower.

    First Valve - front ish
    Second Valve - back wall
    Back of tank this is where the previous pipe ('back wall') goes - i believe
    Top of the 'back wall' pipe

    would anyone be kind enough to point me in the right direction?

    Just to confirm, there's only two "big" valves, attempting to show pipe directions etc in pics
    Last edited by chezybezy; 17-06-2017 at 4:47 PM. Reason: .
    - Chez
    • Le_Kirk
    • By Le_Kirk 17th Jun 17, 4:39 PM
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    Le_Kirk
    It won't be the 4th photograph. It will likely be one that feeds water from the cold water tank in the loft into the bottom of the hot water cylinder - as hot water is fed out of the top. Just turn each off in turn and then try the bathroom tap until you find the right one. My guess is second valve back wall as it looks like it comes from the loft area.
    • chezybezy
    • By chezybezy 17th Jun 17, 4:46 PM
    • 92 Posts
    • 17 Thanks
    chezybezy
    Thank you very much, I'll start with the one on the "back wall", test, then try the one to the left. I just didn't wanna start turning things that might cause a problem. Oh and just to confirm it's turn clockwise?
    - Chez
    • Geoff1963
    • By Geoff1963 17th Jun 17, 6:50 PM
    • 1,058 Posts
    • 668 Thanks
    Geoff1963
    It needs a new washer.

    The plunger with the washer on the end, has a hexagonal shank, and slides in a hexagonal tube. When the washer gets worn, it pokes out so far, that it disengages from the tube, and then rotates a little, so won't slide back up. I think it is a design feature, to prompt a repair, because a dripping tap wastes water, and a slow flow will freeze in any external drain pipes.
    • Le_Kirk
    • By Le_Kirk 18th Jun 17, 10:42 AM
    • 2,074 Posts
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    Le_Kirk
    Thank you very much, I'll start with the one on the "back wall", test, then try the one to the left. I just didn't wanna start turning things that might cause a problem. Oh and just to confirm it's turn clockwise?
    Originally posted by chezybezy
    Yes, it's "Clockwise to Close." Be prepared for it to be stiff to turn. Sometimes it may help to try it anti-clockwise first if it hasn't been turned off for a while, as this dislodges any lime scale build up. Also, when opening after you have successfully changed the washer, always open it fully and give it half a turn closed.
    • chezybezy
    • By chezybezy 24th Jun 17, 2:32 PM
    • 92 Posts
    • 17 Thanks
    chezybezy
    Yes, it's "Clockwise to Close." Be prepared for it to be stiff to turn. Sometimes it may help to try it anti-clockwise first if it hasn't been turned off for a while, as this dislodges any lime scale build up. Also, when opening after you have successfully changed the washer, always open it fully and give it half a turn closed.
    Originally posted by Le_Kirk
    Having a bit of trouble figuring out how to remove the "top" of the tap, I thought the top would pry off but I can't seem to. Maybe I'm wrong or not using enough pressure, can anyone advise?

    Also turned off hot water valve in airing cupboard, but still getting a very minor dribble, tried returning on the bath hot tap to see if it just needed draining. Can I still precede even with this?
    - Chez
    • Le_Kirk
    • By Le_Kirk 24th Jun 17, 4:04 PM
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    Le_Kirk
    If you have slowed the flow to a dribble, you have at least proved that it is the correct valve. It is common for gate valves not to close all the way (after years of use), maybe you can open a hot tap downstairs to relieve the pressure a bit. Depending upon the type of tap you have, there will be various ways for the tap top to be fixed. Normally there is a prise out cap (usually colour coded blue/red) and under this is a screw. Undo the screw and he tap top will prise off its splines. Look at this link for some ideas of the different type of handle. Hopefully you won't need a puller but you can see the principle.
    • chezybezy
    • By chezybezy 24th Jun 17, 4:15 PM
    • 92 Posts
    • 17 Thanks
    chezybezy
    If you have slowed the flow to a dribble, you have at least proved that it is the correct valve. It is common for gate valves not to close all the way (after years of use), maybe you can open a hot tap downstairs to relieve the pressure a bit. Depending upon the type of tap you have, there will be various ways for the tap top to be fixed. Normally there is a prise out cap (usually colour coded blue/red) and under this is a screw. Undo the screw and he tap top will prise off its splines. Look at this link for some ideas of the different type of handle. Hopefully you won't need a puller but you can see the principle.
    Originally posted by Le_Kirk
    thanks, oddly i turned off the tap but left everything turned off in the airing cupboard, then turned on the tap and got a large spurt of water. After a few seconds it returned to the dribble a few seconds later. Does this sound ok?
    Also I did fiddle a little with the other stop valve, but i think its back in the right location.
    Has a scary moment when i turned on the water (as needed to) i couldn't turn the hot water turn off valve - my guess is that it was an air pocket? but it has opened again, after i tested a hot tap to ensure i wasn't being a numpty.

    i can't find anything showing how to remove the top off the same style of taps (see first pics) . I feel useless at failing (again) such a simple hurdle! Does anyone have any experience with my style of taps?

    Sorry guys!
    - Chez
    • Le_Kirk
    • By Le_Kirk 24th Jun 17, 4:56 PM
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    Le_Kirk
    It would be nice if all taps had the same (or even similar) way of fixing. Possibly it all turns. More research and I will revert.
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